Siri may have helped this 2-year-old girl save her mother’s life

siri

Siri. You love her or hate her. For many of us, Siri is a novelty at best, and an inconvenience at worst: the annoying voice who starts asking you what you want from your back pocket when you accidentally sit on your iPhone. But for those who love Siri, she can be a lifesaver … literally. Because Siri may have just helped a 2-year-old save her mother’s life.

Liz Neaton of Montrose, Minnesota, has a nervous disorder that causes her to have fainting spells on occasion when she stands up. She’s also the mother of Eve, a smart 2-year-old girl who Liz trained to use Siri to call 911 in case of emergency.

That little act of foresight paid off big time last week, when Neaton had a fainting spell and only her daughter was around to help her. Remembering what her mother had taught her, Eve picked up her iPhone, pushed and held the home button to call up Siri, then used the voice assistant to make an emergency call.

I think scenarios like this show the real use of Siri, and why it’s a fantastic addition to Apple’s line of services. Siri is useful to the rest of us in many different scenarios, sure, but what Siri does is make using an iPhone accessible to everyone, from the elderly to the preverbal. It may not be the perfect user interface, but it is the most intuitive and easy-to-understand one.

  • Lucus Bendzsa

    Wow just wow. She needs to be able to tell people how to do emergency procedures in desperate times so I could say like hey siri my friend cut his arm. Se would call the police tell them your location, and tell you what to do to help your friend.

  • mrideas

    Wow. They must have changed something in Siri’s programming because you couldn’t use it to make emergency calls as I tried before and it wouldn’t call 911. Maybe something localized to Canada only? I figured it was so as to reduce apples liability if it couldn’t connect?

    • Adam

      You can set up an emergency number as a contact (not everyone dials 911) and have it call that contact in an emergency.

  • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

    Siri novelty at best? Hogwash! I’ve never understood all the Siri bashing and complaints about what Siri doesn’t do to match people’s personal expectations of what they think she SHOULD do. I’m surprised Mr. Brownlee by your negative viewpoint. If you want Siri to stop talking to you from your back pocket, put the phone in your front pocket. Why would you even think of sitting on your phone? This makes no sense at all to me. Like any tool, it’s all in how it’s used that’s the important point.

    I personally love Siri’s implementation since she first arrived on iOS. With iOS 7 she dials numbers for me, finds contacts, finds local restaurants and businesses, plays music of specific artists and songs, gives me directions to various places, etc. These things she does very well and I’m grateful for them because she saves me a bunch of steps that I’d have to do manually if she wasn’t there. I’d really like my car to fly — after all, didn’t scifi writers tell us that we’d have flying cars before the year 2000? I’ve lived in Los Angeles and Clearwater, Florida, and Siri helps me get around just fine. One day I hope she turns into a full-fledge artificial intelligence, but for now she definitely adds a great deal of value to my life.

    • Nick

      IKR. Siri is, at worst, a feature you don’t use. Why would you hate on it?

  • stephndsz

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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